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People are stealing mattresses from luxury hotels

Mattresses stolen from luxury hotels

Some hotel guests wake so rested at luxury properties that they purchase the same kind of mattress they slept on. Then there are those patrons who steal them.

At least 48 mattresses have disappeared from guest rooms in the more than 1,100 four- and five-star European hotels surveyed by German review site Wellness Heaven. Guests at five-star hotels were 8% more likely to take mattresses, perhaps because they were more comfy, according to the survey.

That's far less than the nearly 900 towels or 753 bathrobes that hotels say went missing. Hangers, pens, cutlery, cosmetics and blankets were among the other most commonly lifted items. Personal electronics and small appliances, including tablet computers, hair dryers, coffee makers and TV sets were also reported missing from hotel rooms across the properties. 

How to steal a mattress

Upscale hotels often make their mattresses or pillows available for purchase to guests who've slept soundly during their stays. What's less clear is how thieves escape without paying for the not-so-compact pieces of hotel property. Some hoteliers told the survey company that guests snuck away with mattresses in the dark of night using elevators that led directly to underground parking.

Another guest threw a mattress out of the room's window, according to the site's hotel reviewer, Tassilo Keilmann. 

"The nice thing about mattresses is they bounce so they don't really get damaged, and the guest then collected it from the road," Keilmann told CBS MoneyWatch. 

Wellness Heaven pegs the value of a single stolen mattress at a couple thousand dollars. He estimates that roughly $60 million worth of mattresses are lifted from hotels worldwide each year. 

Other weird things that go missing

Some hotels say they charge guests for missing property, while others turn a blind eye. 

"Especially in the case of towels and bathrobes, they don't do anything, because they don't want to confront the guest and lose repeat visitors," he said. "They also want to avoid calling the police and making a scene." 

Others simply factor the anticipated losses into their room rates, or make clear that desirable items are available to purchase through the hotel's shop.

Other unusual — and valuable — items that have gone missing from hotels include a grand piano from a hotel lobby in Italy, bathroom fixtures in Germany, a taxidermied head and guest room numbers from a hotel in England, according to Wellness Heaven.  

"We didn't notice until the next guest could not find his room," the director of an unnamed British hotel told Wellness Heaven of the missing room numbers.

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